All of a sudden the garden is transforming with spring around the corner. As I write this the sun is blazing and the thermometer has hit 14˚c.

Head gardener, Nick is in full pruning mode with the roses being given their final prune in the wedding walkway to the Oak Barn where our ceremonies are held. Our aim is to have a showy walkway for Brides from February all the way to the end of December. Currently there are Primroses which will be followed by Chionodoxa (Glory of the Snow) which we have naturalised in the rose beds alongside stunning Cyclamen Coum.

The Great lawn of the Walled Garden is growing and has just received its first trim of the season from the Allett cylinder mower – The start of creating a ‘velvet sward’ for guests to enjoy as they appreciate their Champagne and canapés. It’s also a great spot for wedding photos and lawn games during a reception.

Around the garden crocus are in full bloom and daffodils are starting to bloom – We have thousands of Tête á Tête just starting to open and make a wonderful welcome as you turn into the Goldstone drive. These will come into their own throughout March. The two Camellias Pink at the entrance gate and deep red by the bar window are showing extraordinary promise, awash with buds – The Pink Camellias is a stunning specimen.

Pink Camellias

Pink Camellias

In the Kitchen Garden, early potatoes – Lady Christl are planted in the polytunnel and should be ready by the end of April to provide melt in the mouth taste, with sufficient quantity to guarantee the delight of the first early potatoes for Wedding Breakfasts from April onwards – Not wishing to upset the Jersey Royal growers but…Goldstone soil and the magic of the polytunnel will take them on comfortably.

Finally the gamble of the Apricot blossom;  at the easterly end of the garden walk is an Apricot tree which is just about to be smothered in fine pink blossom – spectacular in its own right, but the early blossom is at risk of frost and preventing the fruit from setting. We are looking forward to freshly poached apricots and homemade rum ice cream with our own raspberry sauce – Only available in August, but worth the wait – Keep your fingers crossed that we have no frost in the next few weeks or so.

Enjoy a wander round the garden and perhaps a Whisky Mac to accompany to ensure no chill.

John Cushing